Today, in this modern crazy world, it can be hard to tell who is a believer according to God – rather than just according to the person themselves.
People attending the (growing) list of denominations that affirm LGBT to one extent or another?
Your neighbour across the street who teaches sunday school – and is addicted to pornography?
A friend who works at the local coffee shop. Nice, never swears or gets into trouble. And also has never ‘contributed’ to the church or God?
Your grandparent who says that she is a Christian but doesn’t know what that means except to attend church and ‘be good’?
The man living in Asia who gets secretly baptised late at night but won’t share with anyone for fear of repercussions?
The wife who professes Christ when out with her friends but doesn’t dare do so at home before her unbelieving husband?
The gentleman who says he loves Jesus yet owns and runs the corner liquor store?
Sometimes we’re sure of someone’s faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Sometimes we’re not. What can be done?
Roll up the persons sleeve and look for tattoo’s!
Okay, not literally. In Ephesians 1:13 Paul expresses one of the wonderful things God has done for those who truly set their Hope on Christ. He says that to those who have heard the word of truth and believed in Him, they have been marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.
This seal is obviously not a physical mark like a tattoo. But I find that it is generally visible. Change takes place in the life of the person who has committed their life to Jesus (and thus received the Holy Spirit).
The conscience changes. Things that never bothered them become troubling. It’s an awakening of morality according to God’s standard rather than our own subjective standard.
The character begins to change. The bitter grumpy office worker begins to find positive elements where before all was perceived as negative.
The mind changes. Values and goals begin to shift. Often the perspective begins to adjust from being self-centered to thinking of others more and more often.
The behavior changes. Old patterns that are incompatible with Christ start to break down – and something much better begins to take its place.
It’s not an instant process. There will certainly be times when one stumbles. Yet there is a mark there. Branded. Tattooed. It’s the mark of God upon a human life.
Let me suggest that you start with yourself rather than looking at everyone else. So roll up your sleeve and take a good look. Examine your past from the time you professed to follow Jesus till now. Do you have a tattoo?
If you do, take a moment and thank God for the Holy Spirit who is dwelling within you.